- The position of U.S. envoy in New Delhi has been lying vacant since President Biden assumed office as Los Angeles MayorEric Garcetti’s nomination is still in limbo.
Career diplomat Elizabeth Jones has been named chargé d’affaires ad interim to the U.S. embassy in New Delhi, the State Department announced earlier this week. She becomes the fifth temporary appointment to India since January 2021.
“In India, Jones will join our Embassy and Consulate interagency teams in advancing and expanding the partnership between our governments and people, a partnership that Secretary Blinken has called one of the most consequential in the world,” the State Department said.
Jones was appointed Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East in June 2012 after having served as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. She served as the Coordinator for Afghan Relocation Efforts. She previously served as Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East, and Ambassador to Kazakhstan. Ambassador Jones carries the highest Foreign Service rank of a Career Ambassador.
The position of U.S. ambassador to India is lying vacant since Biden assumed office on Jan. 20, 2021. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was nominated for the position in July 2021, but his confirmation has remained in limbo in the U.S. Senate. Ken Juster was the last U.S. Ambassador to India.
A year later, Garrett’s confirmation is still in limbo. This January, President Biden re-nominated him. after nominating him last July. Republican Iowa Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley have both placed a hold on Garcetti’s nomination. However, the president’s pick is facing resistance not only from the GOP but from a few Democrats as well “over his professed lack of knowledge about sexual assault and harassment allegations against a top adviser,” as reported by Politico. And without full party unity, the Los Angeles mayor might not make it.